Bishop Knestout has advised that the provision of Communion under both species (the Body and Blood of Christ) can be reintroduced safely in all parishes. It may be worth a quick revisit of what the Church teaches about Communion in both species.
Scripture refers to Communion in both species:
The earliest reference appears in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (11:23-29). Verses 23-26 and 29, clearly specify receiving both species while verse 27, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup,” (emphasis added) reflects the Church’s doctrine of concomitance – namely, that full Eucharistic grace may be received under the form of one species alone. In John 6, Jesus’ words about the Eucharist alternate between speaking of one species and speaking of both, while the three Gospel accounts of the institution of the Eucharist refer to both species (see Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:17-19).
We must remember, therefore, that the fullness of the Real Presence of Christ is contained in either species of Communion. If one receives either the Precious Blood, or the Sacred Host, or both, one receives the fullness of the grace of the sacrament.
The current General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM] offers a fine summary of the theology which undergirds this practice: Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the Divine Will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord (no. 281).
Regarding the sacred vessels, the same General Instruction states: “Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, they should generally be gilded on the inside”. (No. 328) I am grateful to Richard and Lucille Conran and Andy Strassburg whose generous donations have enabled us to buy the appropriate sacred vessels. Moreover, our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have all been retrained in the safe sharing of the Cup.
If you have any concerns about receiving the Blood of Christ, please understand and know that it is not required. Many people however, take great comfort in the reception of Communion under both kinds and for this reason, we are pleased to offer it again. Please receive the Blood of Christ from this weekend onward if you feel comfortable doing so.
As we continue with the Eucharistic Revival – Real Presence, Real Life – may we participate consciously, and reverently in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus presented to us in the Most Holy Eucharist.